If you were rapping in late 90’s you probably knew all the dudes in your local scene, before Facebook, before YouTube, even before you could hear Hip Hop on the radio. Mr Clean’s had established his underground moniker and is no stranger to some of the biggest names in the Sydney Hip Hop scene today.

Patiently watching and living life. Sydney spitter, husband and father has just released his debut album “With a Vengeance” The aptly given title is a representation of his return to the scene that is changed in many ways where originality and underground is the under dog to the familiar format of what we hear on the home front today.

Hard work & dedication (No Mayweather, more Manny), was needed to bring this project to light, with producers on deck such as Colourd Noyz, Katalyst (Quakers), P-Money, Beat Butcha & Sandro saying better late than never is a mediocre description of ones fruition even with being 3 years late the timing couldn’t be any better.

What are your earliest memories of music?
I could say they would have been radio songs my old man used to listen to in the cars circa 82, that were embedded in my head by default I still don’t know how I know the words to so many songs! Listening to my Dad’s Led Zeppelin “Physical Graffit” & Yvonne Fair “The Bitch Is Black”, my parents taking me to Powerstaion Records at Miranda Westfield to buying my 1st Fresh Prince, Ice-T & P.E 7 inches & how can we forget those white & yellow cassingles……SMH…ugly!

What first got you into Hip Hop?
Breakdance movies

What was your first big break as a MC?
Getting noticed freestyling at the the Writers Bench gig in 99 and getting to have my own track on Katalyst’s last album “Deep Impressions”.

Who were your musical influences coming up?
Always been a humungous Wu-Tang fan, I listened to a lot of white label stuff, underground stuff, anything lyrical but I still feel like I’m still coming up because this is my first release we chatting about here. My taste has shifted to have more of a balance, good music is good music, now a days there is super lyrical stuff without a great balance of beats has me switching off at times, depends on the mood. I like a lot of 70’s Rock heavy Psych type stuff when I hear those tuff riffs and heavy drums feeling a fair bit of garage rock and 80’s punk as well, its all a feel & attitude that has me rapping the way I do.

You have been part of the Sydney Hip Hop scene for well over a decade why did the debut album take so long to come out?
Oh bruv…. I guess I never took it that serious, I just having fun. didn’t know many dope producers, at that time Hip Hop just wasn’t that big you couldn’t hear it on the radio back then if you saw someone dressed like they were into the music you knew what the deal was. Circa 2002, I became a proud father, then like 1 year later the relationship separated which made me a weekend father, so rap & partying took the back seat and it was around that time that Aussie Hip Hop had finally gotten radio play and in the media, 3-4 years later after I had settled more with my marriage and family situation I was able to start getting my head and funds together then began working on things, I felt real driven by a large amount of artists in the local press and due to my competitive nature, I was like damn I got to come out with some music.

The album features producers Katalyst, P-Money, Beat Butcha and Colourd Noyz what do they each bring to the project?
The album is mostly prod by Colourd Noyz, we met through mutual friend that I known for years, its kind a funny we didn’t meet, the dude has a clean sound that’s still holds the traditional feel off golden age Rap with the sounds of today so shit stays relevant, most of the producers I use have a straight up raw style in most aspects, I’m more like “Hey that beat is dope I going to run with it” they might have a fair few different sounds. I was a little sketchy using so many different beatmakers but they all brought a great dynamic to the album, Beat Butcha with his new age graveyard boombap sound, P-Money with that classic vibe and Katalyst with his broad library of class A head nodders, I also made a fair few of the interludes to help string the album together to help make it more of cohesive listen.

What do you want the listener to take away from listening to the album?
To understand that making ultra relevant sounds and same old formats is what is killing Hip Hop today do as you feel.

What tracks are your favourite and why?
I’d have to say “Steroid Frauds” due to the amount of dirt it musters & the fact it’s a slept on video, that shit got love from the Doppelgangaz so if they feeling it I’m heading in the right direction, “Diamond Thrust” due to the new age Bomb squad type sound that it’s been dubbed for and “The Tundra” for its lyrical content because its slightly political and relates back to my own reality which I will be touching more on with the next project.

What inspires you to write?
Hearing some monster ass shit hot samples, watching a bugged out movie, also being being pissed off at times or feeling like something needs to be addressed.

How would you describe the Mr. Clean sound?
Audio grindhouse, rawdawg soul with a dash of angry man rap.

You have self-funded and promoted this album project what are some of the lessons you have learnt from it
Ask me when all the cd’s have sold (laugh out loud) nah man, get some tee’s done have the homies wearing you brand, the response has been dope, big up to all who bought that Vengeance pack.

For those unfamiliar what tracks / albums do you feel best represent Australian Hip Hop?
1. Mic Pompei – Yung Wurl
2. Don Data – Iron Psalm
3. Sinks – Strong
4. LMXEC – The Unexpected

What one thing does Australian Hip Hop need right now?
More artists of multicultural background which is happening slowly, more artists making more music that’s not for the radio, more compilations not just with rapping on it, remember the The Bomb & Deep Concentration series..dope, more Hauie TV type video channels (was wanting to do my own) but so flat out, someone to dress them, a writers bench 2014, café/hang spot that caters to music lovers alike with regular performances…..all things that need a group of investors or like minded people with money which no one has to throw around, everyone just wants to start blogs….over it, blog blog blog.

What advice would you give to up and coming artists?
Try not to get sucked up in the format of relevant rap content wise and image wise do as you feel.

What artists are you currently listening to?
Ratking, Prodigy, BADBADNOTGOOD, Kendra Morris & Quadron

You launch “With A Vengeance” at FBI Social Club on June 6th what can people expect from the show?
Rawdawg maaadness, planes taking off & landing on stage, the album done at full beasts mode & other major talents making it the event not to missed!

What does the future hold for Mr. Clean?
What the people give back, another project to better this one as it took 3 years to make this one, already onto the 2nd track, big ups to Calski & Raine Supreme for the supply of niceness.

What’s your definition of Grindin’?
Holding onto your dreams, staying on top of the competition and making everything second to your goal.

Interview by Duggs

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